Business owners who continue to feel the pandemic pinch can soon receive additional help.

Erie City Council has approved $9.65 million in American Rescue Plan funding that will be distributed to struggling businesses.

The money will be split into the following seven grant and loan programs:

  1. $2 million for COVID-19 Economic Recovery & Growth Fund for Business Refinancing/Restructure
  2. $500,000 for Restaurant/Entertainment Industry Relief: up to 100 restaurants/entertainment industry businesses can apply for grants of up to $5,000
  3. $1 million for Flagship & Commodore Funds
  4. $2.15 million for Community Development Initiatives
  5. $1 million for Technical Assistance for Small Businesses
  6. $2 million for Residential Construction & Development Revolving Loan Fund
  7. $1 million for Small Business Diversity/Loan Grant Program

The goal of the funding is to help struggling businesses recover.

"We're trying to coordinate both the county and city funds in a way we can help as many people as possible,” said Erie County Redevelopment Authority VP of Capital Finance & Lending Chris Groner. “Even with all the funding that's come in, there's never enough to cover all of the requests. So, we have to do this in a fair and equitable process and help as many people as we can.”

The city hopes to open up the application process to businesses by the middle of January.

This story is supported by the Economic Hardship Reporting Project.